With the Boston Marathon being run today, this guest post by my friend and colleague Stormy Becker Falso in Georgia seems especially relevant. A runner for some time, she ran in her first marathon earlier this year. Enjoy her insights.
I heard the rhythmic footfalls quickly approaching from behind. I was running my fastest, but I could hear them overtaking me. A runner, tall and lithe, effortlessly passed me. I watched as he disappeared into the distance. As I continued my steady gait, I thought about his efficient movement and grace.
Instead of feeling impatient with my own plodding pace, I spent time thinking about how this runner’s example of effortless speed, revealed possibilities for my own improvement. I see the same possibilities when I read about people who have been healed of illness through prayer. I find these reports of healing not only in religious and spiritual literature but also in popular non-fiction. For example, have you read the incredible story of Louis Zamperini in “Unbroken”? He left PTSD and raging alcoholism behind virtually overnight as a result of a spiritual experience.
Prayer is a practice that has been in use for centuries. It would not have continued if those involved in the practice didn’t feel they derived some benefit from it. Almost half of Americans feel there is a place for prayer in addressing their health problems.
Some people have experienced what could be called miraculous outcomes. Many of those instances have been carefully documented and verified.
The National Institutes of Health have found that 43 percent of Americans pray for their own health and 24 percent have asked for the prayers of others. Instead of straggling outliers, prayer and spiritual practices are making their way into mainstream health institutions. Research projects investigating prayer and it’s health effects have doubled since 2000.
Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson says, “We don’t know what’s driving 96% of the universe.” Being open to possibilities has brought many things into our everyday life. For centuries, people observed birds flying and never considered the possibility that a vehicle could be constructed that would carry people thousands of miles through the sky. It took observation and perseverance to discover the principle that makes air travel an accepted and relied upon mode of travel. New discoveries are continually being made. Let’s keep the door open on prayer and it’s possibilities in daily life and health.